Life and death in two Bristol Victorian workhouses

Congresbury History Group, Congresbury Methodist Hall, 2 High St, Congresbury, Bristol BS49 5JA Roger Ball, co-author of 100 Fishponds Rd: Life and death in a Victorian workhouse explains how a team of local researchers revealed that more than 4,000 men, women and children, inmates of Eastville Workhouse, were interred in unmarked graves in a burial ground that was forgotten for over a century. Rosemary Caldicott, author of The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire: A Case Study of Bedminster Union […]

Hitler’s British Traitors

The Secret History of Spies, Saboteurs and Fifth Columnists

By Tim Tate
Regardless of the 2015 publishing date given, this book is currently (last checked December 2018) just available in hardback, and must have been withheld due to the ongoing release of new official documents, as these terminated only in 2017. 'Hitler's British Traitors' covers a subject that was largely considered either taboo or dismissed with contempt until recently, namely the idea that if Nazi Germany had managed to invade Britain, particularly when they had a potential capability to do so in […]

Wiltshire’s Radical History

Wiltshire's Radical History - Covers
Contributors: Steve Poole – Hanged at the scene of their crime. Rosie MacGregor – Angela Tuckett. Nigel Costley – West Country Rebels. Melissa Barnett – Dame Florence May Hancock. Jeremy Corbyn MP – From Wiltshire to Westminster. A dramatic cover featuring Combe Gibbet set against a thunderous, threatening Wiltshire sky greets the reader of this short book. The work certainly does not fail to deliver on one aspect of Wiltshire’s past dark and cruel criminal justice system. On the other hand the […]

John Deed: Heart of Darkness

Was the BBC right not to rebroadcast this programme?

miscellaneous events 2019
“Heart of Darkness” is a drama from the controversial Judge Deed series. It was transmitted in 2006 but the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit decided that this episode should not be shown again. It focusses on two legal cases, a judicial review of the U.S. government’s demand for the extradition of a politically active Iraqi woman and a courtroom disagreement between a married couple on whether their child should be given the MMR vaccine. G.F. Newman, the writer and producer of the Judge Deed […]

Nautical Women

Women sailors and the women of sailortowns: A forgotten diaspora c.1693 - 1902

Nautical Women Front Cover
In Nautical Women, Rosemary Caldicott explores the stories of women whose lives were inextricably linked to the sea. She tells of the women of sailortowns struggling to keep out of the dreaded workhouse and resisting the prowling press gangs; and of the courageous and skilful cross-dressing women sailors who went to extraordinary lengths to hide their gender. We learn about these women’s motivation as well as their adventures and inevitable exposure. Rosemary Caldicott also considers the fate of […]

Zionism And History

Reading the wrong lessons from the persecution of the European Jews

How can we explain the persecution of Jews throughout European history, culminating in the horror of the Nazi holocaust? The founders of the Zionist movement argued that the cause of the persecutions was an inherent and incurable anti-Jewish prejudice on the part of the people amongst whom Jews lived. The only remedy was the creation of a Jewish State. Mike Levine questions this thesis. He argues that antisemitic prejudice, although long-standing and widespread, doesn’t fully explain when and […]

Lest we forget – A Life of Pleasure?

The machine gun, colonial massacres and the Victorian theatre

A Life of Pleasure After a tip off last year by a member of BRHG I took a trip to Bristol Archives to take a look at some diaries written by Harry Bow in the 1890s. Bow, a Bristolian, was an enthusiastic 'army spotter', that is, he loved to record and illustrate public displays of the British military in the late Victorian period. Amongst the notes and beautiful line drawings recording parades, army camps and the use of cavalry against Bristolian trade unionists and their supporters on 'Black […]

Slaughter No Remedy, Harry Patch, Walter Ayles and the First World War

At the Assembly Rooms, Christchurch St West, Frome

For Harry Patch and Walter Ayles, the outbreak of the First World War was a testing time. From sharply different backgrounds, they initially responded very differently, Harry becoming a member of a machine gun team on the Western Front, Walter going to prison as a conscientious objector. But they ended up with the same perspective on ‘the war to end wars’. The talk will be illustrated with excerpts from television programmes made by the speaker. Non-Members £3 extra for outings or talks

Radical History: Smuggling and Poaching in Dorset

At Bridport Museum, 25 South Street, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3NR

As part of BridLit Fringe Kev Davis and Steve Mills from the Bristol Radical History Group explore the history of smuggling and poaching in Dorset. Should Smugglers be considered folk heroes and to what extent smuggling was a community enterprise? Did you know poachers in some quarters are seen as the second oldest professionals? Who are they? Did they take game for the pot or to sell? Were they in direct competition with the landowners? Both sides used violence, guile and confederates with […]

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